PPT kicks of new youth season with literary classic: ‘Anne of Green Gables’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

By Josh Wainright for PPT

When aging siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert send to an orphanage for a boy to help on their farm located in the fictional town of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, they instead receive a plucky, romantic, hot-headed young girl named Anne.

Although she is certainly not what they had in mind, her energetic spirit and active imagination quickly charm Matthew who then convinces Marilla to let her stay.

Over the next 6 years, Anne forms lifelong friendships and intense rivalries while winning the hearts of the entire town and brightening up the drab rural Canadian community.

Piedmont Players Theatre’s first youth production of the 2017-2018 season, “Anne of Green Gables,” is based on the popular 1908 novel by Canadian author L. M. Montgomery and adapted for the stage by Peter DeLaurier.

PPT’s version, directed by first time PPT director Tony Moore, holds closely to the original characters and events in Montgomery’s classic story. This swift yet theatrical adaptation of the classic novel is an all-ages crowd-pleaser.

Although written for all ages, it has been widely considered a children’s novel since the mid-20th century. Since its publication, the original book has sold more than 50 million copies having been translated into more than 36 languages and taught to students around the world.

Filmmaker Kevin Sullivan developed the story into a series of film and television productions that have been seen in over 140 countries and garnered four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

In order to bring Green Gables to life on the Norvell stage, Reid Leonard and the PPT tech crew built a fantastic set, including a farmhouse with a visible kitchen and bedroom. Set in the 1890s, the PPT production also features some stunning period costumes designed by Ashley Ward and Eastern Costume Company.

Mary Kathryn Brown has been tasked with the title role of Anne, with Laura Bullock and Joseph Clark playing Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Anne’s best friend, Diana Barry, will be played by Meg Bivens, with her rival Gilbert Blythe portrayed by Elliott Smith. The talented young cast also includes PPT veteran Emma Patterson and Norvell-newbies Grace Lemings, Mya Langford, Kinsey Calderone, Grace McCoy, Claire Garner and Michael and Megan Pendergrass.

Beginning next Friday night, PPT’s “Anne of Green Gables” will win over audiences at the Norvell Theater with an irrepressible spirit and imagination and a warm, poignant story about love, home and family.

Shows dates: Nov. 10 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11 and 18 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Norvell Theater, 135 E. Fisher St., www.PiedmontPlayers.com

Tickets: Adults $12, students/seniors $10. Producing Partners: Owen & Elizabeth Norvell.

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